DuBois upends Brookville, captures first outright District 9 League title since 1990
Thursday, February 16, 2012
AHEAD OF THE PACK — DuBois’ Tanner Gooden (5) keeps his eyes on the rim as he scores on a layup in front of Brookville’s Sebastian Kerr (10) Wednesday night. Gooden scored a game-high 16 points to help lead the Beavers to a 39-30 victory and the District 9 League title. (Photo by Don Long)
BROOKVILLE - It's been a slow climb to the top of the District 9 League for the DuBois Area High School boys basketball team, but the Beavers finally reached their spot.
DuBois secured its claim as the 2011-12 District 9 League champion Wednesday evening with a 39-30 win over Brookville, which was the defending co-champion along with Elk County Catholic.
The win gave DuBois an 8-2 record in league play and earned the Beavers their first league title since 2000 when they shared the title with the Crusaders when both schools went 9-3 in league play. The last time DuBois won the league title outright was 22 years ago in 1990. Overall, the Beavers have won 18 titles since the league was formed in 1919-20.
"I can't say enough about these seniors," DuBois fourth-year head coach Scott Creighton said. "The team in general, but really these seniors, they've been with me since I got here when I arrived the summer between their eighth and ninth grade year. They've been very dedicated to the program and very committed.
"We talked about one of our goals at the beginning of the year was to win the league title, and it feels pretty good to achieve that and be the only ones to lay claim to it. We didn't really want to share it coming into this game.
"Brookville battled to the end and coach (Bud) Baughman did a great job getting his kids prepared and they played hard. It was the way a game should be when it comes down to something this important."
Wednesday's deciding game didn't get off to a good start for the Beavers, who didn't score in the first 10 minutes. But, DuBois (16-6) ended strong, scoring 17 points in the fourth to hold off the Raiders (17-5, 6-4), who would have shared the title with the Beavers and Elk County Catholic with a victory,
Tanner Gooden and Nate Avery combined to do all of the damage in the final period. Gooden scored 14 in the second half, including eight in the fourth, for a game-high 16 points. Avery scored all nine of his points in the fourth.
Each hit a key 3-pointer in the fourth, DuBois' only two of the night. Avery's trey 1:06 into the period pushed DuBois' lead back to four points, which equaled its largest lead at that point.
Brookville regained the lead a couple minutes later, but Gooden answered on DuBois' next possession with a 3-pointer from the wing to put the Beavers ahead, 30-28, with 4:37 to go.
DuBois rolled from there. Gooden's 3-pointer started a 12-2 run to end the game.
Another basket by Gooden pushed DuBois' lead to 36-30 with 2:11 remaining. Brookville turned it over on its next possession and never really threatened down the stretch.
"It was just a matter of us trying to keep our composure," Creighton said. "We've been in games like this before and I think that helped us stay focused. The kids were very confident. I think it was a season-long experience that really led to us to be able to keep our composure at the end. I'm very proud of them.
"Tanner struggled a little bit in the first half. Once we were able to just focus on what we had control over and not what happened before, he did a great job. He played the second half the way he's capable of playing all the time. That's why he's our point guard, that's why he's our leader, our only captain."
Turnovers cost the Raiders early as they committed 13 turnovers in the first half.
"Mental mistakes hurt us more tonight that physical mistakes," Brookville head coach Bud Baughman said. "It's not being on the right guys or not being in the right position at the right time. We have a great group of kids and they played hard. I think the better team won tonight.
"I think at times we were trying to force too much instead of taking the open look, or the open shot was there and we deferred to try to shove it down in sometimes a little bit too much."
Brookville had trouble finding consistent scoring. Senior Austin Burney shouldered the load in the third where he scored eight of his team's 10 points, but he and the rest of the Raiders couldn't keep pace down the stretch.
Burney, one of Brookville's nine seniors honored before the game on Senior Night, led the Raiders with 11 points.
Zane Hackett was held to eight points while also grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Both teams were patient on offense to start the game and started slow.
DuBois missed all seven of its shots in the first quarter and started 0-for-9 before Kyle Hoffer scored following a steal by Nate Liddle.
Hoffer's basket with 6:32 left in the second quarter made it 6-4 at the time.
The Raiders failed to take advantage of DuBois' inability to score. Brookville missed seven of its final eight shots to end the first half while turning the ball over six times in the second.
"There's opportunities for shots every time down the floor," Baughman said. "We're just not taking them. More than anything, it's my job as head coach to find a way to get more scoring other than the big guys. We got to get the guards to start being a little more offensive minded.
"Every night, if you don't win, turnovers usually seem to be your biggest downfall and tonight was no different. We struggled. We turned it over. Hats off to DuBois."
Besides Hoffer's basket following Liddle's steal, DuBois scored two more times off turnovers in the second quarter. Liddle scored a layup off a fast break, then Hunter Lydick made a nice move under the basket in the final minute to give DuBois a 10-8 lead at the half.
Brookville committed 20 turnovers to DuBois' 10.
Notes: The Beavers have improved each year in the league standings in Creighton's four years as head coach. After finishing last in 2007-08, DuBois finished sixth in Creighton's first year in 2008-09. The Beavers were fifth in 2009-10 and fourth last year. ... In Wednesday's junior varsity game, Greg Rawson hit an 80-foot three-point shot just before the halftime horn as DuBois won 38-33.
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Reported by Bryan Swan, C-E Sports Writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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